Crowd at Eugene Airport welcomes 971st Army Reserve home from Afghanistan

      EUGENE, Ore. - Some Oregon soldiers enjoyed a big welcome home Thursday after serving a tour of duty in Afghanistan.

      A sea of anxious faces crowd the Eugene Airport terminal, clutching homemade signs and American flags. The group erupted into a mix of cheers, hugs and tears as the troops exited their flight late Thursday night.

      After a year in Afghanistan, Staff Sergeant Joey Vaughan along with the 971st Army Reserve Unit returned home. Vaughan was one of around half a dozen arriving in Western Oregon on two separate flights into the Eugene Airport late Thursday night.

      The unit of about 20 is a mobile transportation company for the army reserves.

      According to Glynis Byerlin with VFW Post 9448, reservists with the 971st are returning home from an approximately year-long deployment to Afghanistan.